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In my previous post I’ve attempted to trace, clarify and briefly define certain positions and oppositions within the philosophical field today. It is my conviction that at the root of philosophical enquiry lies a series of dialectical relationships between affirmation and negation, transcendence and immanence, reality in-itself and reality for-us, finitude and infinity, being and non-being.

In this post I will take it upon myself to further elaborate on these oppositions in the way of establishing my own position surrounding the void that splits as it unites transcendental empiricism and transcendental materialism.

Now, we know that according to Plato time doesn’t really exist and that it is merely a representation of the real, an image of eternity beyond life as we live it. Needless to say it is the human finitude, the fact of mortality that produces human subjects as beings in time. The change of seasons, for instance, signifies…

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“It is easier, someone once said, to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism: and with that the idea of a revolution overthrowing capitalism seems to have vanished.”

~ Fredric Jameson,  An American Utopia: Dual Power and the Universal Army.

“Someone once said that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. We can now revise that and witness the attempt to imagine capitalism by way of imagining the end of the world.”

~ Fredric Jameson, Future City, in New Left Review 21, May-June 2003.

“As Fredric Jameson perspicaciously remarked, nobody seriously considers possible alternatives to capitalism any longer, whereas popular imagination is persecuted by the visions of the forthcoming ‘breakdown of nature’, of the stoppage of all life on earth – it seems easier to imagine the ‘end of the world’ than a far more…

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The Spirit shows itself as so impoverished that, like a wanderer in the desert craving for a mere mouthful of water, it seems to crave for its refreshment only the bare feeling of the divine in general. By looking at the little which now satisfies Spirit, we can measure the extent of its loss.

~ Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit.

It would be best, perhaps, to think of an alternate world—better to say the alternate world, our alternate world—as one contiguous with ours but without any connection or access to it. Then, from time to time, like a diseased eyeball in which disturbing flashes of light are perceived or like those baroque sunbursts in which rays from another world suddenly break into this one, we are reminded that Utopia exists and that other systems, other spaces, are still possible.

~ Fredric Jameson, Valences of the Dialectic. 

via Dialectics of Time and Event from Kant and Hegel to Deleuze and Badiou: Hyperstition, or, Utopia as Method, Structure, and Process — SubSense


The Evil Spirit and The Spiritual Automaton

It is a recurrent theme in science-fiction-thriller movies that in time humanity turns into the slave of its own creation, namely of machines. It is precisely because of this fear of being replaced that humanity attempts to get out of time, out of the physical, and eventually falls on the side of what it was attempting to escape from; be that which they fall in the direction of metaphysics or pure-physics, in both cases their thought itself becomes machinic.

The Panopticon may even provide an apparatus for supervising its own mechanisms. In this central tower, the director may spy on all the employees that he has under his orders: nurses, doctors, foremen, teachers, warders […] and it will even be possible to observe the director himself. An inspector arriving unexpectedly at the center of the Panopticon will be able to judge at a…

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| Backdoor Broadcasting Company | Is pleasure a rotten idea, mired in negativity and lack, which should be abandoned in favor of a new concept of desire? Or is desire itself fundamentally a matter of lack, absence, and loss? This is one of the crucial issues dividing the work of Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Lacan, two […]

via The Trouble With Pleasure: Deleuze and Psychoanalysis — SubSense




In this essay I attempt to explicate the sense in which Michel Henry’s reductive rendering of Life as affectivity resonates with Alain Badiou’s subtractive rendering of the subject as eternity in time. I claim that these two modes of subjectivity are the two modalities of the Real manifesting itself as quality (Henry) and quantity (Badiou). As the two anti-thetical components of a complementary mode of being and thinking, Henry’s and Badiou’s shifting conceptualisations of the subject constitute a new understanding of the human. Henry’s patheme oriented subject takes the form of the human before its reflection in philosophy and objectification by science. This self as affect manifesting a non-human being of truth is compared and contrasted with Badiou’s matheme oriented subject driven by an inhuman truth of being capable of distinguishing between the human animal and the immortal subject. Henry and Badiou proclaim a move away from the human-animal-machine and towards…

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black hole

Southern Nights

For speculation which founded itself on the radical falsity of the Principle of Sufficient Reason would describe an absolute which would not constrain things to being thus rather than otherwise, but which would constrain them to being able not to be how they are.
….Quentin Meillassoux

Is this what we’ve been waiting for all along? The movement beyond the troubled circle of Being and becoming, of Time and its figural and literal tropes of disquieting lapses into finitude? The fragments of this lie all around us in such thinkers as Nietzsche, Bataille, Deleuze, Badiou, Zizek, and so many others within this metamorphic thought of a non-thought, this disquisition of an anathema.

My friend Cengiz Erdem in his essay Postnihilistic Speculations on That Which Is Not: A Thought-World According to an Ontology of Non-Beingcharts such a history:

A speculative move in the way of mapping the cartography of an ontology of non-being…

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Total Assault On Culture

Expanding on my summary of Ray Brassier’s Remarks on Subtractive Ontology and Thinking Capital here are some further related observations on aleatory rationalism, drawing on Elie Ayache’s account of how the option ‘science’ of the derivatives trading comes to  hypostasize the market as an absolute relation that is not thought-independent:

Brassier’s critique of aleatory rationality shares the epistemological concerns of Quinten Meillassoux, who at the end of his philosophically innovative work After Finitude attempts to offer a speculative resolution to Hume’s problem of induction;  questioning the traditional ludic understanding of randomness and how certain varieties of intractable uncertainty impinge upon us in the form of large-impact rare events. Ludic fallacy finds its apotheosis in the financial markets, particularly in derivatives trading; something that French theorist Elie Ayache has noted leading him draw upon Meillassoux to better explain how the misapprehension of traders affects the dynamic meta-stability of the real with…

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Southern Nights

Abstract literature writes in clues, with clue words, but without hope.
…….– Nick Land, Abstract Manifesto

“Nothing was to have taken place. Less, even, than usual, or than standard procedure recommended. That was clear.”1 So begins Nick Land’s new philo-fiction, Chasm. True to this statement this strange amalgam of – can we call it philosophy, hyperstition, abstraction to the nth degree, an non-movement around absolute Zero; or, like those fabulations of Borges, Calvino, Ballard, Lem, or any number of anti-metaphysical metaphysicians of recent repute call this a dip in the labyrinth of a-literature?  Land_

Reading Chasm is like entering a fog, a realm where the known and unknown cross each other in the night, their knives honed sharp and clean readied for the event that will never happen. Nothing can happen in this world. Yet, this is not some static world of timeless instants, but rather a world whose…

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Progressive Geographies

Sartre, Foucault et al 1977 - Appeal by SartreIn 1977 Sartre, Foucault, Guattari, Deleuze, Barthes, and others wrote an open letter protesting about the imprisonment and investigation of a number of Italian intellectuals, including ‘Bifo’ (Franco Berardi) and Antonio Negri. I’d not seen this before and it is the first (but I’m sure not the last) thing missing from my bibliography of ‘The Uncollected Foucault‘ which recently appeared in Foucault Studies.

An English version appeared in Italy, 1977-8: ‘Living with an Earthquake’a pamphlet published by Red Notes in 1978. Few libraries have a copy and second-hand versions sell for obscene amounts. The inside front-cover of the pamphlet says that “This pamphlet or any part of it may be freely reproduced by any tendency in the revolutionary movement. Copyright protects it from being poached by capitalists”. I’ve uploaded a scan of the two pages here.

[Update: you can download the whole of Red Notes, Italy…

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#ACCELERATE: The Accelerationist Reader
Forthcoming: April 14, 2014
Editors: Armen Avanessian, Robin Mackay
Paperback 115x175mm.
ISBN 978-0-9575295-5-7
Co-published with Merve Verlag

And of course we suffer, we the capitalized, but this does not mean that we do not enjoy, nor that what you think you can offer us as a remedy – for what? – does not disgust us, even more. We abhor therapeutics and its vaseline, we prefer to burst under the quantitative excesses that you judge the most stupid.
– Jean-François Lyotard, Libidinal Economy

We believe the most important division in today’s left is between those that hold to a folk politics of localism, direct action, and relentless horizontalism, and those that outline what must become called an accelerationist politics at ease with a modernity of abstraction, complexity, globality, and technology.
– Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek, #Accelerate

Accelerationism is the name of a contemporary political heresy: the insistence that the only radical political response to capitalism is not to protest, disrupt, critique, or détourne it, but to accelerate and exacerbate its uprooting, alienating, decoding, abstractive tendencies.

The term was coined to designate a certain nihilistic alignment of theory with the excess and abandon of capitalist culture, and the associated performative aesthetic of texts that seek to become immanent to the very process of alienation. Developing at the dawn of contemporary neoliberal consensus, the uneasy status of this impulse, between subversion and acquiescence, between theoretical purchase and aesthetic enjoyment, constitutes the core problematic of accelerationism.

Since the 2013 publication of Williams’s and Srnicek’s #Accelerate: Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics, the term has been adopted to name a set of new theoretical enterprises that aim to conceptualise non-capitalist futures outside of traditional marxist critiques and regressive, decelerative or restorative solutions.

#Accelerate presents a genealogy of accelerationism, tracking the impulse through 90s UK darkside cyberculture and the theory-fictions of Nick Land, Sadie Plant, Iain Grant, and anonymous units like CCRU and SWITCH, across the cultural underground of the 80s (rave, acid house, Terminator and Bladerunner) and back to its sources in delirious post-68 ferment, in texts whose searing nihilistic jouissance would later be disavowed by their authors and the marxist and academic establishment alike.

On either side of this largely unexplored central sequence, the book includes texts by Marx that call attention to his own ‘Prometheanism’ and key works from recent years document the recent extraordinary emergence of new accelerationisms steeled against the onslaughts of neoliberal capitalist realism, and retooled for the twenty-first century.

Contributing to the energetic contemporary debate around this disputed, problematic term, #ACCELERATE presents a historical conversation about futurality, technology, politics, enjoyment and Kapital. This is a legacy shot through with contradictions, yet urgently galvanized today by the poverty of ‘reasonable’ contemporary political alternatives.


Sevgili Dr. Lawgiverz, ilk sorumuz size, okuyucularımızın cevabını en çok merak ettiği sorulardan biri, Kitab-ı Nihil’i kim yazdı? Siz mi yazdınız, yoksa televizyonların ve daha başka ekran mekanizmalarının bir anda ortadan kalkıp medyanın görsel imge bakımından sonsuz bir beyazlığa gömüldüğünü öngördüğü Fantezi Makinesinde Hakikat Sızıntısı adlı kitabı yazdıktan sonra bizzat kendisi de ardında yanıtlanmamış sorular bırakarak ortadan kaybolan Tekvin mi?

Öncelikle bu soruyu sorduğunuz için, ayrıca bize karanlıkta kalmış bazı mevzuları aydınlatma fırsatı veren bu söyleşi ortamını yarattığınız için size çok teşekkür ederiz. Belirtmeden geçemeyeceğim, artık neredeyse tıkanma ve hatta yavaş yavaş azalarak bitme noktasına gelmiş olan bu anlatıyı böyle anlamlı bir söyleşiyle sürdürmek dahiyâne bir fikirdi. Amacınız her neyse, bu  soruyu sormuş olmanız oldukça garip aslında, çünkü bu anlatıyı yazmakta olanın siz olduğu aşikâr; Takamuro’yla benim tek yaptığımız sizin yazdıklarınızı yaşamak. Atalarımızın o ünlü ve bir o kadar da özlü sözünü hatırlayacak olursak görürüz ki tipik bir “tavuk mu…

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HighIQPro is a scientifically proven brain training application. 20 days of training, 20 minutes per day, results in a quantified, measurable 10-20 point increase in IQ level and 40% increase in memory capacity – money back guaranteed.

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The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations

The Butterfly Effect is a film from 2004 directed by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber, in which Chaos Theory is applied to history and psychoanalysis. According to Chaos Theory an event which seems to be very insignificant in a sequence of events is in fact as important as any other event and the effects of a minor cause require some time to manifest themselves in relation to the macro situation. The main character in The Butterfly Effect “seizes hold of a memory as it flashes up at a moment of danger.”[1] 

With TheButterfly Effect the audience sees everything from the perspective of a young man who not only has flashbacks in the form of dreams, but who is also able to travel in time through reading his journals. As he reads the journal, first the words, then himself, and finally the whole room starts shaking…

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“Recent neuroscience, in replacing the old model of the brain as a single centralized source of control, has emphasized “plasticity,” the quality by which our brains develop and change throughout the course of our lives. Our brains exist as historical products, developing in interaction with themselves and with their surroundings.Hence there is a thin line between the organization of the nervous system and the political and social organization that both conditions and is conditioned by human experience. Looking carefully at contemporary neuroscience, it is hard not to notice that the new way of talking about the brain mirrors the management discourse of the neo-liberal capitalist world in which we now live, with its talk of decentralization, networks, and flexibility. Consciously or unconsciously, science cannot but echo the world in which it takes place.In the neo-liberal world, “plasticity” can be equated with “flexibility”–a term that has become a buzzword in economics and management theory. The plastic brain would thus represent just another style of power, which, although less centralized, is still a means of control. In this book, Catherine Malabou develops a second, more radical meaning for plasticity. Not only does plasticity allow our brains to adapt to existing circumstances, it opens a margin of freedom to intervene, to change those very circumstances. Such an understanding opens up a newly transformative aspect of the neurosciences.In insisting on this proximity between the neurosciences and the social sciences, Malabou applies to the brain Marx’s well-known phrase about history: people make their own brains, but they do not know it. This book is a summons to such knowledge.” ~ Peperback Swap

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“In a world full of violence, destruction and death, or “madness in every direction,” as Kerouac would have said, the subject becomes nothing but a projector of the evil within society.”
Cengiz Erdem

The Nihil Solipsist: a being that knows neither its own nothingness nor the dark self-cannibalizing force of all those others within; trapped within the introjected prison-house of an impure fear, bound to the cross of a symbolic gesture, tormented by the thought of its own paranoid-schizoid position this Nietzschean subject relishes the hunt as a repetition of the life-death drives it seeks to unleash at the hands of all those non-others within its own panopticon of deliriums. Cengiz Erdem in his essay The Nietzschean Subject tells us that the “paradoxical nature of the contemporary Nietzschean subject is a result of the turning of self into the other within in the process of becoming. The self of the present has not only become a prison-house of the others within itself but also it itself has become a self-contained monad with no relation to the outside and no awareness of the external world populated by the others’ selves.”

Erdem tells us that today everything has been reduced to the pure or impure exchange value of Capital; even the invention of subjectivity, which no longer touches the oldest of criteria: use value. Instead we have always already become a cog in the machine, a machinic subject, a zombified cogito serving the greater good of Capital itself. Like somnambulists in a dream matrix we have become the illusory beneficiaries of an inhuman thought:

“With societies based on exchange value the relationship between the subject and the object is confined in the paranoid-schizoid position. There remains no gap between the subject and the object when in fact there should be. Everything becomes a substitute for another thing and everything is substitutable. With the advance of global capitalism the subject itself becomes an object. The subject begins to act itself out as an object for the desire and consumption of the other. The subject becomes a substitute of itself.  With global capitalism the subject starts to feel itself as a machine; it becomes inorganic for itself when in fact it is essentially organic. In other words organs start to operate like non-organs, all organicity is replaced by inorganicity, life with death, and in this kind of a society everyone is always already dead.”

Consuming machines that we are we have been reduced to eating our own… shall I say it: shit! Instead of difference we have all become entrepreneurs of the self-same identity of Capital: trending our way to the avant-garde in our latest designer outfits we speak the local lingo like the good netizens we are, forging identities in a spurious masqueradism of conformity to the latest fashion boutique or philosophical blog, hip-hopping or rapping along to life’s happy nihilism like black metal fetishists apotropaically defending ourselves against the encrustations of an artificial slime world where the gods of filth and dionysian ecstasy infuse us with the abyss of the inhuman. Or, as Erdem defines it: “With the advance of global capitalism this herd-instinct can be said to have become nothing but a result of the exploitation of the life and death drives to reduce life to a struggle for and against life/death. The subject no longer has to carry the burden of being different. In this light and in this time we can see global capitalism creating not only the conditions of possibility for the subject to forget itself but also the conditions of impossibility for a remembrance of self, producing the non-knowledge of self as the counter-knowledge.”

Nietzsche‘s Ecce Homo has become for the new trend setters the glorious cookbook for ‘healthy living’, and all those pesky little ghosts of our forbears otherness has suddenly surprised us as the unmasking of our daily selves in the present. Erdem in a final colloquy relates that ”the the non-reason inherent in reason has become the reason itself, and yet the questions remain:

1. What can be learned from Nietzsche’s failure, which caused and continues to cause many other failures?

2. What are the conditions of possibility for a non-antagonistic and yet non-illusory relationship between the self and the other and how can they be sustained?

Those two questions could and should fill volumes, but being a small blog report upon the workings of such a fine mind we can only hope that Cengiz Erdem will be answering these either fully or partially in his upcoming book?

Addendum: Cengiz published another essay just after the previous one, Barbaric Regress and Civilised Progress contra Deconstruction and Affirmative Recreation, which offers some further reflection on the above topic.

via Dark Chemistry

Excision Ethos: Flat Ontology and the Posthuman Object/Subject.

Intellectual Mitosis One does not have to do more than a cursory review of intellectual history to find intellectual bifurcations everywhere. There's nominalism vs. realism, rationalism vs. empiricism, analytic vs. continental, and so on. Earlier this month at the Claremont Conference Steven Shaviro nicely articulated the bifurcation between his position and Graham Harman's. Whereas the problem for Harman is how objects can enter into contact and communication with o … Read More

via Aberrant Monism

Alenka Zupančič On Comedy: <i>The Odd One In</i> I picked up (seemingly by chance) a new book by Alenka Zupančič – The Odd One In: On Comedy – and I have to say that I am very much enjoying it. Having only semi-read her book on Kant and Lacan, and honestly not remembering much from that reading, I was simply curious to see what she has to say about such an awkward topic as "comedy" – even though I've only gotten through Part I, it is amazingly erudite discussion of everything from more or less … Read More

via Perverse Egalitarianism

Laughing all the way to the Bank, and eating a Banker – Notes on Subversive Humour and Impossible Violence Events at the G20 protest in London simulate the possibilities of violence as an activist strategy that can step out of the trappings and co-optations of the binaries set up by the media-police. How can the symbolic mechanisms that prop up a hegemonic order be effaced? A partial, potential strategy is not one of opposition and realizable violence, but of and through intrusion and subtraction, which has the effect (not for the dim-witted) of defac … Read More

via counterrealism:

One form of disappointing realism, in my opinion, is the kind that cares more to valorize certain forms of knowledge than to safeguard the reality of the real. My views in this point are already known. The real is something never perfectly translatable, or even percentage-wise translatable into some model of it. This does not mean that the real is an ungraspable thing-in-itself with knowledge reduced to a relativist free-for-all. What it means, r … Read More

via Object-Oriented Philosophy

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